We have used monospecific antisera to two lysosomal membrane glycoproteins, lgp120 and a similar protein, lgp110, to compare the biosynthesis and intracellular transport of lysosomal membrane components, plasma membrane proteins, and lysosomal enzymes. In J774 cells and NRK cells, newly synthesized lysosomal membrane and plasma membrane proteins (the IgG1/IgG2b Fc receptor or influenza virus hemagglutinin) were transported through the Golgi apparatus (defined by acquisition of resistance to endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase H) with the same kinetics (t1/2 = 11-14 min). In addition, immunoelectron microscopy of normal rat kidney cells showed that lgp120 and vesicular stomatitis virus G-protein were present in the same Golgi cisternae demonstrating that lysosomal and plasma membrane proteins were not sorted either before or during transport through the Golgi apparatus. To define the site at which sorting occurred, we compared the kinetics of transport of lysosomal and plasma membrane proteins and a lysosomal enzyme to their respective destinations. Newly synthesized proteins were detected in dense lysosomes (lgp's and beta-glucuronidase) or on the cell surface (Fc receptor or hemagglutinin) after the same lag period (20-25 min), and accumulated at their final destinations with similar kinetics (t1/2 = 30-45 min), suggesting that these two lgp's are not transported to the plasma membrane before reaching lysosomes. This was further supported by measurements of the transport of membrane-bound endocytic markers from the cell surface to lysosomes, which exhibited additional lag periods of 5-15 min and half-times of 1.5-2 h. The time required for transport of newly synthesized plasma membrane proteins to the cell surface, and for the transport of plasma membrane markers from the cell surface to lysosomes would appear too long to account for the rapid transport of lgp's from the Golgi apparatus to lysosomes. Thus, the observed kinetics suggest that lysosomal membrane proteins are sorted from plasma membrane proteins at a post-Golgi intracellular site, possibly the trans Golgi network, before their delivery to lysosomes.

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